Apple Distinguished School
Well-Executed Technology Program Reaps Benefits for Students
Saint James School (STJ) was named an Apple Distinguished School in 2014, a title reserved for learning institutions displaying innovation, leadership and educational excellence. The opportunities made available to students through integrated technology in the classroom directly reflect the school's mission, "...We are committed to challenging and assisting students in realizing their individual potential and preparing them for lives of responsibilty, service, and achievement." After an extensive internal audit by Apple, they determined that Saint James is utilizing technology not just as a tool in the classroom, but as an integral part of the learning process in the 21st century.
“Our strong college prep curriculum is complimented by the 21st Century technology initiative we started in 2010, after long hours of research and study to determine how to implement a program that would best serve our students," remarked Head of School, Dr. Larry McLemore. "The most up-to-date technology tools are integrated into our curriculum, across all grade levels, K-12. The tools have changed the classroom dynamic, making learning a more student-centered activity. We know we’re preparing our graduates for success in college, and life.“
All Saint James fifth grade students and middle school students receive iPads and high school students receive MacBook Airs. In the early grades, Saint James pre-school and elementary students have ready access to iPod Touches, iPads, and MacBooks.
“Using the Apple products in class has just been wonderful,” says seventh grade science teacher Heather Chinoski. “It keeps the students engaged in what they’re learning….through discovery, through inquiry, we’re teaching them to be lifelong learners, engaged in their own learning process. That’s what every teacher wants.”
As a result of its technology program, Saint James is the only school in Alabama to offer students unique electives that introduce them to college studies before they ever even graduate from high school. Students may select from one of 11 pre-college major electives, such as Robotics and Pre- Engineering, Pre-Law, Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy, Music Technology, and Graphic Design.
“I used the same technology in high school that professionals are using!” says STJ alum Tyler Bailey, '14. “Just like all the composers - and there it was for me - at my high school. It was amazing.”
Here are a few examples of the work done at STJ using technology: